The p2p Bitcoin exchange has given users 12 months to withdraw their assets.
LocalBitcoins, a Bitcoin peer-to-peer (p2p) platform based in Finland, is shutting its doors after over a decade of serving the crypto community.
The Bitcoin exchange revealed its decision to close down in a statement today, citing the “very cold crypto-winter.”
“… regardless of our efforts to overcome challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter, we have regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service,” the statement from the company read.
Consequently, the platform has encouraged users to withdraw their assets from the platform and the LocalBitcoins wallet. According to the defunct Bitcoin exchange, users have 12 months to withdraw their assets and are encouraged to do so as early as possible.
Today, the p2p platform has suspended new sign-ups. It will stop trading activities and the use of the LocalBitcoins wallet except for withdrawals on Feb. 16. As a result, from Feb. 17, users will only be able to log in to withdraw their funds.
It is worth noting that LocalBitcoins, founded in 2012, is one of the earliest and longest-running crypto exchanges. It offered p2p and escrow services, allowing users to trade Bitcoin for multiple currencies. In the early days of Bitcoin, it was a key source of liquidity and a popular venue for arbitrageurs. In 2021, it added payment options in multiple alternative cryptocurrencies.
However, the rise of other centralized crypto exchanges has relegated the platform to obscurity. This, coupled with uncertain market conditions, has seen volumes on the platform plummet significantly in recent months, per Coin Dance data. Coinranking data indicates that it has managed a volume of only $738,387.00 in the last 24 hours across multiple BTC pairs.
LocalBitcoins’ decision comes after an extended crypto winter that has pushed many crypto assets over 70% below their all-time highs, crippled several crypto businesses, and led to massive industry layoffs. Despite recent market gains, Bitcoin remains over 67% below its all-time high of $69k formed in 2021.